Many of the Pentecostal churches say that, Holy Mary has got children other than Jesus and propagate that she is not a virgin as the catholic church teaching and not to be respected in that sense. Can we compromise with their arguments ? Do we have the scriptural clarity about the ‘virginity’ of our Holy Mother ?
Ans. Let us examine the fact in the light of the Word of God. The Pentecostal churches teach that Mary had other children other than Jesus. Let’s examine the verses that speak about the “brothers” of Christ which created scandal to the Jews. “So that they were astounded and sad, ‘where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?’ And they took offence at him.”(Mt 13:54-56, Mk 6:2-3)
“While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers were standing outside, wanting to speak to him” (Mt12:46-47, Mk3: 31-32, Lk8:19-20)
Let’s examine what kind of brothers they are?
In the letter to Galatians, we see Jacob who is one among the brothers of Jesus. “But I did not see any other apostle except James the lord’s brother”. (Gal1:19-20). Now let’s examine who is James among apostles, the brother of Jesus? “These are the names of the twelve apostles: first Simon also known as peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee and his brother John, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Mathew the tax collector, James son of Alpheus …….”(Mt10:2-4, Mk3:15-19, Lk6:13-15)
There were two Jacobs among the apostles. One is the brother of John and the son of Zebedee-salomi couples named great Jacob. The second one is the son of Alpheus named small Jacob. There is no other Jacob among the apostles. And the father of both these Jacobs is not Joseph.
From these verses we could very well understand that who is the father of Jacob the brother of Jesus? Now let’s try to find out his mother’s name.
“Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.” (Mt27:55-57)
“There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses and Salome…….” (Mk16:40-41)
“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome brought spices so that they might go and anoint him.”(Mk16:1)
“Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.”(Mk15:47)
“Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told this to the apostles.”(Lk24:10)
From these verses it is clear that the mother of Jacob, Jose, Simon and Jude is Mary, the wife of alpaus. “Meanwhile standing near the cross of Jesus was his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clophas and Mary Magdalene.” (Jn19:25)
How the mother of Jacob becomes the sister of the mother of Jesus. Those who know the history very well know that Anna and Joachim had no other sons or daughters other than Mary, the mother of Jesus. When we go through the apocryphal writings, we see that the Alpheus is the brother of Joseph, the upbringing father of Jesus. If the brothers and sisters of our parents have children, don’t we consider them as brothers and sisters? In that sense Jesus had ‘brothers and sisters’. It does not mean that Mary had other children than Jesus. When we humbly receive the word of God, Holy Spirit will inspire us to accept the truth.